The question on how to deal with the real impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s education system is a million-dollar and a very difficult one to answer due to the severe damages that have been done to the education system at all levels.
The current curriculum may not be sufficient to repair the vast damages that have already been done to the system.
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There is a need for the government to design a strategy and framework to support our curriculum when the world eventually ends the COVID-19 pandemic phase.
Education festivals could be a valuable tool for supporting Nigeria’s education curriculum. A classic example of such a festival is the Oyo State Model Education System initiatives popularly called the Oyomesi festival of learning conceptualized and implemented during the administration of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
Former Special Adviser to Ajimobi on Education matters, Dr. Bisi Akin-Alabi, a renowned and world-class educator, technocrat, administrator and education consultant had birthed the concept which was her brain child.
The impacts of the festival on the education system of Oyo State positioned Ibadan, the state capital as a learning city status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Dr. Bisi Akin-Alabi, a graduate of the University of Lagos and a Master of Business Administration degree holder from the South Bank University Business School London, during her tenure as the Special Adviser to the erstwhile Governor of Oyo State on Education, Science and Technology realized that the education system of Oyo State was decaying, the curriculum was not sufficient to support the student’s educational requirements and there was urgent need to revitalize the system.
She developed the Oyomesi festival of learning to support teaching and learning. The festival was tremendously productive and repositioned the education system of the South Western state.
This sort of intervention may be useful in repositioning the educational system in the post-COVID-19 era if implemented across many states in Nigeria.
No wonder, the concept implementor, Dr. Bisi Akin-Alabi who has taught mathematics and science in a mainstream school in the United Kingdom for over 20 years, is the founder of SchoolRun, an education and training consultancy firm that primarily focused on achieving excellence via training and development of quality opportunities for the nation’s tool.
Nigeria sure needs such unique thoughts like the education festivals to reposition the education sector and return the lost glory.
As more and more children of school age are dropping out of schools across Nigeria, there is the need to arrest the trend because the country may find it difficult to cope with a large illiterate population in the future coupled with the fact that an idle hand is the devil’s workshop.
Hence, the concept of education festival if well implemented may just be the magic wand needed to return many to school and keep them there for proper education.
Emmanuel is a public affairs commentator